A Holy Mess

Do you ever feel like your life is so far from what it should be, yet God, Whom you are expecting to deliver you, seems indifferent? Maybe you have already asked Him to “fix” some things in your life. Because you find yourself still waiting, you perceive He is not doing what He is supposed to be doing for you. I have spent a lot of time in this spot: wondering how God, who is so powerful, could be so negligent; especially when He sees that I am so powerless to affect a decent outcome in the mess that I am in.

When God has not been prompt in power, I have expected Him to be forth-right with answers. (At least if I had the knowledge to make sense of my problems, I could try to do something about them.) But when even the answers I asked for have failed to appear, I have been disappointed in God. Wavering back and forth on the precipise of doubt, I often found it easy to believe that God had set me up for a free-fall.

Our lives facilitate a variety of needs that may have us teetering on the edge of the unknown, waiting for God to rescue us. A bad situation, relationship, illness, or even a season of our life can appear to be working overtime to disadvantage us. They either interrupt the plans we treasure, or ruin the lives we treasure more. Trying to be patient as you wait for God’s timing seems a waste of effort when He has apparently lost His schedule or the sticky note we posted with our request. Our troubles become only more pertinent with the passing of time, while our rational expertise leads us to wonder, Where is He? or Has He forgotten that I am in trouble?             

Adversities like this have one objective we cannot miss: They are allowed by God to test our faith — whether it be in us or in Him. Challenges to our own understanding insist that we focus instead on the adequacy of God’s understanding. The safest place for us to be is not in our comfort zone, but in the zone of God’s activity. To be removed to the center of God’s activity may feel more like we have been dropped into the midst of a disaster than a blessing, yet the point we need to be most aware of is that God is the One we are to look to in our confusion.

In the storms of life, God is no less concerned with our wellbeing, than we are. He is in fact more concerned; nevertheless He manifests His concern much differently than we would usually expect (especially when it comes to our highest priorities in life). Therefore, we have to learn to be sensitive to the gap between our reasoning and God’s. He is never disregarding the needs closest to our hearts. Instead, He purposely turns the storm we are in whichever way will let us see our heart’s deepest need. God is the only One Who is all that our hearts can need. Therefore He will refocus our attention on Him so that our heart can discover our Ultimate Satisfaction and Delight. When God satisfies us, we discover peace that begins in the heart, and pours out into our whole life. We can trust God to right our lives once we have trusted Him with our heart. When He has our heart, He can teach us to see how close we are to His heart. Only when we know God’s heart can we have faith in the manner and timing of the outcome He chooses for our lives.

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Safe and Sound

“O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
there is no salvation for him in
God.”     –     Psalm 3:1-2

As I read these verses this morning I realized that this is not only David’s cry for help, but mine as well. In fact, it is relative to everyone. All humans have a foe. Even so, when I look at a passage like this, I wonder do I have any “foes”?

I have known Satan is my enemy, but for some reason I suppose his terms of communication are so bold that I will easily apprehend his schemes. I feel confident that I’ll recognize the “roaring lion” when I see him and resist him. It will just be natural and automatic. Right?

 Wrong, I discovered. Yesterday I got to know my adversary a little better, and I learned that my understanding of him is deficient. You see, my foe was not the being for which I had prepared. He was a great force, but not in the way that I expected. He didn’t turn up in the form I had been anticipating. His blatant proposal for sin was missing too. Instead, my faulty perceptions of how he worked provided him the perfect accommodation for his purposes.

He offered me a stimulus that appealed to my emotions. An emotional response would divert me from considering who was truly stimulating me. Pointing to my feelings of discontent, he tugged on an inherent value (personal advantage), and incited me to question God’s character. Once I turned from trusting God, I could only turn to him with that same trusting submission.

I did not perceive the destruction he had drawn me into until I had pursued doubt into anxiety and depression. When I cried out to God for peace, He brought me out of the trap of my feelings, and back to the only foundation I can stand on: His steadfast love. This love is salvation from my foes and my own misdeeds.

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him [Jesus Christ], having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he [God] set aside, nailing it to the cross. He [God] disarmed the [demonic] rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him [Christ]. – Colossians 2:13-15

 

Hello world!

Hello world! The time has finally come to start the blog I have had on my heart. Thanks to God for bringing this about in Your timing, and also to my dear family and friends for your encouragement and suggestions as you have waited on God with me. I cannot wait to see what He will do with this, now that my Lord has me here.

I pray that God will make the words of this blog speak of nothing more than Him, that each of you who reads, might find your heart sparked by His goodness, and attracted to His love. May the mystery of the gospel of Jesus Christ be witnessed here.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all…He it is who gave himself for us that he might purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.” – Titus 2:11,14